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Leading Muslim cleric slams violence over anti-Islam film

Sept. 15, 2012 3:13 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 17, 2012 1:28 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- A leading Muslim preacher on Friday condemned the killing of US diplomats in Libya, and urged Muslims to halt violent protests and embassy attacks in response to a film mocking Prophet Muhammad.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the international union of Muslim scholars, told worshipers in Doha that Islam had endured a number of attacks from the West, and a better response is to explain the values of Islam, Sky News Arabia reported.

In a Friday sermon in the Qatari capital, the sheikh said that "responding to those who attacked Islam must be in line with our culture and noble-mindedness."

"Loyalty to Islam and our prophet, may peace be upon him, is better done through explaining to humanity how tolerant Islam is, and not through surrounding embassies," Qaradawi said.

He called on Muslim clerics to use all possible means to teach the world the story of Prophet Muhammad’s life, and how he taught humanity about noble-mindedness, and how just Islam is.

He added that Muslim scholars should write books and translate them into different languages, as well as making films and organizing panels online and on TV to show how tolerant Islam is.

The cleric said protesters who had responded with violence, including the killing of US ambassador to Libya and three of his colleagues, had acted wrongly. Protesters across the Middle East turned their fury over the video on the US this week, marching towards embassies and burning American flags.

Islam has come under attack from the West "from time to time," Qaradawi said, referencing the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad published in a Danish newspaper in 2005 and Pope Benedict's 2006 remarks in Germany perceived as linking Islam to violence.

The latest incident, the publication of amateur film clips apparently made in the United States which ridicule the prophet, "was committed while Muslims were busy with their own affairs without harming anyone," the Sunni leader said.

Qaradawi moved to Qatar from his native country of Egypt under former President Hosni Mubarak after being jailed several times. He is considered a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
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